Allman Brothers – Trouble No More

Gregg Allman sounded like an old man in his early twenties and when he WAS an older man. He could sing like he lived every bit of the blues he was singing about. This was the first song the Allman Brothers ever played in front of an audience.

It’s hard to believe that their first two albums didn’t go anywhere in the charts. The first two were made up of many of their classic songs. Their first album The Allman Brothers Band contained Whipping Post, Trouble No More, It’s Not My Cross To Bear, and one of their signature songs Dreams.

Their second album Idlewild South contained In Memory of Elizabeth Reed, Midnight Rider, and Hoochie Koochie Man. It took their third album At Fillmore East to kickstart their career to the top. Many of those songs on the first two albums would be classic now thanks to the live treatment they were given on the double live album.

After Duane was killed on a motorcycle on October 29, 1971 the band finished up the album that was started a few months before. Eat A Peach was released in 1972 with studio cuts and some live cuts that were left over from the At Fillmore East album including Trouble No More. The album was a massive hit and a perfect followup to At Fillmore East. The album had radio-friendly songs plus great live versions of songs they had been playing in their set.

This was a popular Muddy Waters song. It’s based on a 1935 song called “Someday Baby Blues” by a country-blues singer named Sleepy John Estes. Waters transformed the song with his Chicago blues style, adding a much more prominent guitar. On the Muddy recording….Little Walter played the harmonica and Jimmy Rogers played the guitar.

The Allman Brothers did their own interpretation of blues songs and usually with an extra charge. The first time they played the song was on May 11, 1969, when they played at Piedmont Park in Atlanta at a free festival sponsored by an underground newspaper… the paper gave them a glowing review and put them on the map outside of Macon.

On October 28, 2014, the band played their final show, the farewell concert at the Beacon Theater in New York City. Their final song was Trouble No More.

Trouble No More

Don’t care how long you gone
I don’t care how long you staying
But, good kind treatment
Gonna bring you home someday
But someday baby
You ain’t gonna trouble poor me anymore

You just keep on betting
That the dice won’t pass
Well you know, darling
You are living too fast
But someday, baby
You ain’t gonna trouble poor me anymore

I’m gonna tell everybody
In your neighborhood
That you’s a sweet little girl
But, you don’t mean me no good
But someday baby
You ain’t gonna trouble poor me anymore

Well, I know you’re leavin
Well, you call that gone
Well, without love
You can’t stay long
But someday baby
You ain’t gonna trouble poor me anymore

Well, goodbye baby
Come on, shake my hand
I don’t want no woman
You can have a man
But someday baby
You ain’t gonna trouble poor me anymore

Boz Scaggs – Loan Me A Dime

An awesome blues song that shows what Boz Scaggs was all about before the hits came. He had been playing with Steve Miller and in 1969 he made this self-titled album Boz Scaggs. He spent some time down south getting this together. He also made a self-titled album (Boz) in 1967 and released it in Europe for the record.

Jann Wenner, the founder of Rolling Stone magazine, was producing Boz’s first U.S. solo album, and he took him to Jerry Wexler at Atlantic Records, who suggested recording in the South. They had a choice of studios…Stax in Memphis, Phil Walden’s studio in Macon, or Muscle Shoals Sound, a new studio founded by the rhythm section from FAME Studios. Boz and Jann listened to everything that was coming out of those studios and they soon knew they wanted the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, and they wanted Duane Allman.

Duane Allman - Boz Scaggs - LOAN ME A DIME - YouTube

Boz didn’t know a lot about Duane, but he got a good sense of his stature by spending that week with him at Muscle Shoals Sound. Duane’s work with Wilson Pickett and Aretha Franklin had preceded him, but Boz was most struck by who Duane was to the players at the studio. They lit up when Duane walked in the room…their respect for him was clear.

Boz Scaggs: “Duane had a profound effect on that album. One of the real revelations to me was Duane’s character, seeing him in the South hanging out with those guys. In his appearance, he looked like he was from New York or L.A., with long hair. It was a brave statement in itself in redneck America. You could get in trouble just driving around in his car. It was an occasion and a homecoming. They held him in very high esteem. He was the dude. He was the natural leader, and he made everyone laugh. It was a side I didn’t see in Macon, where he was much more serious and focused.”

Duane set up his amp in the bathroom at the studio on this recording. He liked to do that so his guitar wouldn’t bleed through on the other instruments. This song has some of Allman’s best playing.

Scaggs and his girlfriend Carmella settled into Macon Georgia and were part of the Allman Brothers Band extended family for a time, enjoying the musical energy and experience in Macon. By this time Macon was host to a lot of different musicians. Boz went fishing and played poker with the Allmans late into the night, drinking beer, and telling stories.

This song is usually listed in the top 5 of Boz Scaggs’s songs. It is not as well known but a great blues track. The track was written by Fenton Robinson.

Boz Scaggs“The first time we did it, it lasted twenty-five minutes and everyone thought it was such a gas, they trouped back in and did it again and we ended up with about forty minutes of ‘Loan Me a Dime’ and we wanted to use at least twenty minutes of it, but we had to use the shorter version, but that music is in the can somewhere in Muscle Shoals, and Duane was really rockin’ out.”

Loan Me A Dime

Somebody loan me a dime
I need to call my old time used to be
Somebody loan me a dime mmm
I need to call my old time that used to be

Little girl’s been gone so long
You know it’s worrying me
Hey it’s worrying worrying me

I know she’s a good girl
But at that time I just didn’t understand
I know she’s a good girl
But at that time I just didn’t understand
Oh no I didn’t

Somebody loan me a dime
You know I need.. I need a helping hand

Oh… she’s a good girl
But at that time I just didn’t understand
Ooooh I know she’s a good girl
But at that time I just could not understand
Oh no

Somebody better loan me that dime
To ease my worried worried mind.. oh
Now I cry.. I just cry
Just like a baby all night long.. oooh
You know I cry I just cry
Just like a baby all night long.. oooh
Somebody better loan me that dime
I need my baby
I need my baby here at home.. oooh YES

John Hammond – Shake For Me

Some rocking blues from John Hammond, Duane Allman, and the Muscle Shoals rhythm section. This one is not a well-known song but it is worth hearing. This was made for vinyl and a turntable. The percussion makes the song jump at you.

The song was written by Willie Dixon. It was recorded in 1969 at Muscle Shoals Sound Studios. Hammond is the son of famous record producer John H. Hammond, who signed some of the most famous musicians ever. A partial list includes Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Benny Goodman, Harry James, Charlie Christian, Billie Holiday, Count Basie, Teddy Wilson, Big Joe Turner, Pete Seeger, Babatunde Olatunji, Aretha Franklin, George Benson, Freddie Green, Leonard Cohen, Arthur Russell, Jim Copp, Asha Puthli, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Mike Bloomfield. He is also largely responsible for the revival of delta blues artist Robert Johnson’s music.

When Duane heard John Paul Hammond was scheduled to record an album at Muscle Shoals Sound in November of 1969, he headed down to meet him.

Hammond come down from New York City to cut a record with Marlin Green, a producer who had worked with Aretha Franklin and Wilson Pickett. He didn’t know what to expect walking into the studio, but he felt an immediate chill from the musicians he had come to play with. He had expected the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section to be black, and they expected the same of him.

Duane showed up in the middle of this awkward realization that they were a bunch of white dudes. Eddie Hinton, the guitar player, and songwriter was the one guy who was nice to Hammond and understood what he wanted to do. He wanted to record Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters tunes.

“I was getting very frustrated,” Hammond recalled. “On the third day, Duane arrived with Berry Oakley. Duane said, ‘I want to meet this John Hammond guy! I have one of his records!’ Everybody loved him, and when they heard Duane wanted to meet me, they looked at me completely different. The whole mood of the session changed; everything changed. Eddie Hinton turned to me and said, ‘This is Duane Allman. He’s a phenomenal player, and you’re really going to like him.’

“Duane started to play and my mouth dropped open, he was so good. There was a break at the end of the day, and I had an old National steel guitar with me. Duane had never seen one, so I gave it to him to play, and it was in open tuning. He said, ‘Gee what is this?’ And I told him it was an open tuning, an A. He played slide in a straight tuning.

They recorded four songs the next day, and everyone was a winner. In fact, Duane inspired the whole studio band to get it together. The songs were included on the album Southern Fried.

“All of a sudden they understood exactly what I was talking about the day before,” Hammond said. “Duane was born with that magnetism.” It was the beginning of another important friendship for Duane.”

John Hammond: I asked Duane how he got so good and he said, “I took speed every day for three years and played every night all night.” I think this was partly true and partly apocryphal but he really couldn’t get enough. He was just phenomenal.

Shake For Me

Sure you look good
But it don’t mean a thing to me
Oh, you sure look good
But you don’t mean a thing to me
I’ve got a hip shakin’ woman, boy
She shake like a willow tree

You went away baby
You got back just a little too late
You went away baby
You got back just a little too late
I’ve got a hip shakin’ woman, boy
Shake like Jello on a plate

When my baby walks you know
Lord, she’s fighting melow
When my baby walks, you know
Lord, she’s fighting melow
I’ve got a hip shakin’ woman, boy
Her flesh tastes just like Jello

Shake it baby, shake it for me
Shake it baby, shake it for me
I’ve got a hip shakin’ woman, boy
Shake like a willow tree

Rolling Stones – The Under Assistant West Coast Promotion Man

What if I told you this was one of The Rolling Stone’s largest selling singles in America? It was… but it was a package deal…the song on the other side of the single was Satisfaction.

Not the most well-known song by the Stones but a lot of Americans owned it. I bought the single Satisfaction in 1979 and flipped it over and found this oddly named likable song. This was the American B side to Satisfaction. Not exactly Day Tripper/We Can Work It Out but a likable single all the same. The song was released in 1965.

The song is about George Sherlock who was the London Records promotions man who accompanied the Stones to California. This was their response to having a chaperone who was a music executive in the early 60s. The Stones did not hide their disdain for him, giving him the nickname Surfer Baby, and they crystallized their feelings in the song.

The Stones recorded this in Chess studios in Chicago.  This song was written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards who were becoming a great songwriting team. They likely borrowed the lick from Buster Brown’s song Fannie Mae.

Fannie Mae peaked at #1 in the R&B Charts and #38 in the Billboard 100 in 1960. He received more attention in 1973 when his song “Fannie Mae” was included in the film American Graffiti Soundtrack.

Buster Brown – Fannie Mae

Well, I’m waiting at the bus stop in downtown L.A.
Well, I’m waiting at the bus stop in downtown L.A.
But I’d much rather be on a boardwalk on Broadway

Well, I’m sitting here thinkin’ just how sharp I am
Well, I’m sitting here thinkin’ just how sharp I am
I’m an under assistant west coast promo man

Well, I promo groups when they come into town
Well, I promo groups when they come into town
Well they laugh at my toupee, they’re sure to put me down

Well, I’m sitting here thinking just how sharp I am
Yeah, I’m sitting here thinking just how sharp I am
I’m a necessary talent behind every rock and roll band

Yeah, I’m sharp
I’m really, really sharp
I sure do earn my pay
Sitting on the beach every day, yeah
I’m real real sharp, yes I am
I got a Corvette and a seersucker suit
Yes, I have

Here comes the bus, uh oh
I thought I had a dime
Where’s my dime
I know I have a dime somewhere
I’m pretty sure

Canned Heat – On The Road Again

Such an underrated band.  What made this band real to me was their live album with John Lee Hooker called Hooker ‘n Heat…it is incredible. They also represent part of the Woodstock era well. When I think of Woodstock…this song and Going Up Country come to mind.

Their appearance there raised their stock higher. They had two hit singles Going Up Country and  On The Road Again. They were both written by Alan “Blind Owl” Wilson and based on old blues songs. His unusual voice came from him trying to mimic the voice of old blues singers. Wilson was not the lead singer of Canned Heat but did sing on some songs.

Wilson’s nickname, “Blind Owl,” was bestowed upon him by friend John Fahey during a road trip in 1965 from Boston to Los Angeles and was a reference to the extra-thick lenses Wilson wore.

He had an encyclopedic knowledge of the blues. Wilson and Bob Hite founded the band in 1965. Lead singer Bob “The Bear” Hite was extroverted and a terrific 300lb showman. Wilson was just the opposite. He was very intelligent, awkward, suffered from depression, and was not a prototypical rock star. He was a great guitar and harp player.

Alan Wilson and Bob Hite, 1970. : r/blues

Alan “Blind Owl” Wilson and Bob “The Bear” Hite

The song peaked at #16 in the Billboard 100, #8 in the UK and #8 in Canada in 1968. This song was on Canned Heat’s album “Boogie with Canned Heat.”Alan Wilson played a tamboura on this song to get the droning effect. Wilson’s falsetto was in the style of Skip James. The song was written by Alan Wilson and Floyd Jones.

Alan Wilson died on September 3, 1970. No one knows if it was a suicide or an accidental overdose of Seconal… Later in 1981 Bob “The Bear” Hite would also die of an overdose in 1981.

The band is still touring. They have drummer Adolfo de la Parra who has been with them since the sixties as the only long term member.

On The Road Again

Well, I’m so tired of crying
But I’m out on the road again
I’m on the road again
Well, I’m so tired of crying
But I’m out on the road again
I’m on the road again
I ain’t got no woman
Just to call my special friend

You know the first time I traveled
Out in the rain and snow
In the rain and snow
You know the first time I traveled
Out in the rain and snow
In the rain and snow
I didn’t have no payroll
Not even no place to go

And my dear mother left me
When I was quite young
When I was quite young
And my dear mother left me
When I was quite young
When I was quite young
She said “Lord, have mercy
On my wicked son”

Take a hint from me, mama
Please don’t you cry no more
Don’t you cry no more
Take a hint from me, mama
Please don’t you cry no more
Don’t you cry no more
‘Cause it’s soon one morning
Down the road I’m going

But I ain’t going down
That long old lonesome road
All by myself
But I ain’t going down
That long old lonesome road
All by myself
I can’t carry you, baby
Gonna carry somebody else

Elmore James – Dust My Broom

I first heard about Elmore James from a Rolling Stones book…Brian Jones was a huge fan of the blues artist. The song also helped bring Keith Richards, Mick Jagger, and Brian Jones together to form the Stones.

On November 23, 1936, Robert Johnson was in San Antonio Texas for his debut recordings. The first song he did was “Kind Hearted Woman Blues” in two versions, his second song was “I Believe I’ll Dust My Broom” and his third was “Sweet Home Chicago.” Johnson is usually credited with writing all three songs. Elements of this song can be traced back to several other blues songs. In 1934 Kokomo Arnold was in the studio in Chicago. He recorded Sagefield Woman Blues at a session, which contains maybe the first mention of the phrase “Dust My Broom” in the lyrics.

Elmore recorded and released his version in 1951. On the single, the song was credited to Elmo James. The song peaked at #9 in the R&B Charts in 1952. Elmore James’s version is probably the most popular version of the song. James’ “Dust My Broom” was inducted into the Blues Foundation Blues Hall of Fame in 1983… it was stated that it received more votes than any other record in the first year of balloting for singles.

Artists who have covered this song include Johnny Winter, Derek Trucks, ZZ Top, Ike and Tina Turner,  Robert Jr. Lockwood, John Littlejohn, Hound Dog Taylor, Homesick James and Frank Zappa.

Bill Wyman (bass player for the Rolling Stones): “The very first time Brian heard it, he played Elmore James’ ‘Dust My Broom.’ And Brain said the earth shattered and seemed to go off its axis, it was such an important moment in his life. He just went away and just tried to learn to play like Elmore James. And he sat in with the band, the Alexis Korner band, and played ‘Dust My Broom.’

By pure chance, that day Mick and Keith and a couple of their mates who’d been trying to put a band together in Dartford – unsuccessfully – went to see the Alexis Korner show as well, after reading about it in the music press. And they saw Brian Jones sitting onstage, this little white cat, sitting onstage and doing Elmore James, and it blew them away! So that was the Stones. Elmore James was a very, very important part, and if that hadn’t happened – that moment – maybe the Rolling Stones wouldn’t be here.”

Derek Trucks: “You can remember almost every Elmore James solo by heart because he was playing songs. Nothing’s wasted. Nothing’s throwaway. It doesn’t feel like somebody’s practicing in front of you, or running scales; these are melodies that are pouring out, and those are the players that I listen to. They move me.

Dust My Broom

I’m gettin’ up soon in the mornin’
I believe I’ll dust my broom
I’m gettin’ up soon in the mornin’
I believe I’ll dust my broom
Out with the best gal I’m lovin’
Now my friends can get in my room

I’m gonna write a letter, telephone every town I know
I’m gonna write a letter, telephone every town I know
If I don’t find her in Mississippi
She be in East Monroe I know

And I don’t want no woman
Want every downtown man she meets
No I don’t want no woman
Want every downtown man she meets
Man, she’s a no good doney
They shouldn’t allow her on the street, yeah

I believe, I believe my time ain’t long
I believe, I believe my time ain’t long
I ain’t gonna leave my baby
And break up my happy home

Rolling Stones – Stray Cat Blues

Mick sounds sinister and ominous in this track and the guitar is absolutely filthy. I feel the need for a shower after I listen to it.  It’s raunchy and sleazy…but a great album cut.

I once had a girlfriend and being around me she started to appreciate the Beatles. I thought that was cool because I never pushed them on her…then I played her some Stones. After around a week of listening to Beggars Banquet, she told me…Max, The Beatles seemed to progress so much as they went on…The Stones…they are low rent.

She was paying attention. She didn’t mean that in a bad way but yea…that is the essence of the Stones…showing the seedier side in their songs…and believe me…this song does. As humans…The Beatles could be as nasty but they didn’t usually reflect that in a lot of music…The Stones went out of their way to do so.

Stray Cat Blues is off of my favorite album by the Rolling Stones…Beggars Banquet. Would this song fly today? NO…oh pardon me… let me reword that…HELL NO… It’s hard to believe it flew back in 1968. I could be wrong but I doubt you would hear this on very many classic radio stations today.

Keith Richards is on top of his game in this one. Mick seemed to be testing or provoking audiences with this one.

This was the first album to start the stretch of 5 albums (Beggars Banquet, Let It Bleed, Sticky Fingers, Exile on Main Street, and Goats Head Soup) that helped make the Stones what they are today. In 1967 after failing to live up to Sgt Pepper with Their Satanic Majesties Request (although I do like that album) they came back retooled with a new producer Jimmy Miller

The Stones got back doing what they do best…playing country rock blues…although with a different sound than Little Red Rooster. A weary Brian Jones was still in the band at this time and contributed to all but two songs…but it’s mostly Keith on guitar. Brian, because of the state he was in, was used more as a touch-up artist…filling in some holes with sitar, tambura, guitar,  blues harp, and mellotron. It would also be the last studio album Brian would work on.

I’ve always related Beggars Banquet to the White Album. They were both released in 1968 and both were raw and honest. No studio trickery with either…a big departure from the psychedelic era of 1967.

The album peaked at #5 in the Billboard Album Charts, #3 in the UK, and #3 in Canada in 1969.

The lyrics were bad enough with I can see that you’re fifteen years old/
No I don’t want your I.D…. when playing it live on the 69 tour it became I can see that you’re thirteen years old/ No I don’t want your I.D. Mick seemed to be jabbing and provoking seeing how much he could get by with.

When you listen to it I would suggest the studio version. Many of the nuances are lost in this live version. I always try to pick a live version around the time they made the song but this one is not the best I heard.

Cat Scratch Blues

I hear the click-clack of your feet on the stairs
I know you’re no scare-eyed honey
There’ll be a feast if you just come upstairs
But it’s no hanging matter
It’s no capital crime

I can see that you’re fifteen years old
No I don’t want your I.D.
And I’ve seen that you’re so far from home
But it’s no hanging matter
It’s no capital crime

Oh yeah, you’re a strange stray cat
Oh yeah, don’tcha scratch like that
Oh yeah, you’re a strange stray cat
Bet your mama don’t know you scream like that
I bet your mother don’t know you can spit like that.

You look so weird and you’re so far from home
But you don’t really miss your mother
Don’t look so scared I’m no mad-brained bear
But it’s no hanging matter
It’s no capital crime
Oh, yeah
Woo!

I bet your mama don’t know that you scratch like that
I bet she don’t know you can bite like that

You say you got a friend, that she’s wilder than you
Why don’t you bring her upstairs
If she’s so wild then she can join in too
It’s no hanging matter
It’s no capital crime

Oh yeah, you’re a strange stray cat
Oh yeah, don’tcha scratch like that
Oh yeah, you’re a strange stray cat
I bet you mama don’t know you can bite like that
I’ll bet she never saw you scratch my back

John Lee Hooker – Boogie Chillen

This is one of the places where rock and roll began.

I knew this sounded familiar…ZZ Top reworked this into their 1973 hit “La Grange.” In 1992, Bernard Besman, who was Hooker’s producer and controlled the copyright to “Boogie Chillen,” sued ZZ Top, but a court eventually ruled that Hooker’s song was in the public domain.

I love any version of this song out there but the two I like the best are the original and when Hooker played with Canned Heat on the album…Hooker and Heat.

In 1948, Hooker showed up at the office of a Detroit record store/label owner named Bernard Besman and presented him with a demo. Besman provided the studio and produced this song for Hooker. They worked together for the next four years, recording many of Hooker’s songs, but Boogie Chillen was the big hit.

The song peaked at #1 in the R&B Charts and sold over a million copies after Besman leased the rights to distribute the song to Modern Records. When the song took off, Hooker still had his day job working as a janitor in a Chrysler factory.

Hooker is the only person performing on the song. The only sounds are his voice, guitar, and stomping feet. The tapping sounds came from bottle caps attached to the soles of his shoes.

“Chillen” is Southern slang for “Children.” This was the first song Buddy Guy learned how to play on guitar. Growing up in Lettsworth, Louisiana in a small house with no electricity or running water, Guy heard this song when a family friend, Henry “Coot” Smith, would come over and play it on his guitar.

Boogie Chillen

Well, my mama ‘low me just to stay out all night long
Oh, Lord
Well, my mama ‘low me just to stay out all night long
I didn’t care she ‘low, I would boogie anyhow

When I first came to town, people, I was walkin’ down Hastings Street
Everybody was talkin’ about the Henry Swing Club
I decided I drop in there that night
When I got there, I say, “Yes, people”
They was really havin’ a ball
Yes, I know

Boogie Chillen’

One night I was layin’ down
I heard mama and papa talkin’
I heard papa tell mama let that boy boogie-woogie
It’s in him and it got to come out
And I felt so good
Went on boogin’ just the same